Sci-fi Flick Gives Actor Kick in Flesh Gordon 'schtick' Cosmic Cheerleaders Meet their Match in Flesh Gordon Remake.

Is Hollywood North producing another Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise or Michael J. Fox? If a young Burnaby actor runs into a little luck, it may happen again.

Vince Murdocco's face and frame may soon fill movie screens, dominate posters and adorn bedroom walls. The likable, 22-year-old Canadian cruiserweight kick-boxing champion is hoping to add another star to his dressing room door.

The future 'sex symbol,' already the focus of a fan club for young teen girls, has the looks and charm to break hearts, a positive attitude to open doors, and the drive to work hard enough to 'make it.' "When I put my mind to it, I do it," said Murdocco.

The Burnaby North grad wasn't always movie star material, or even "half-decent looking," he admitted. "When I was younger, I was a fat, overweight kid. I wasn't that good-looking. I used to get pushed around all the time by everybody." - But as a champion kick boxer, Murdocco doesn't have that problem anymore. Hot got into shape learning Tai Kwon Do and only took up kick-boxing about 2 1/2: years ago. He progressed quickly to achieve the championship in such a short time. Now he is one of the few people who is getting a chance at the silver screen.

The opportunity happened by accident when he drove his girlfriend to an audition for an upcoming film. The producers picked him, but not her. So now he is Flesh. Flesh Gordon, that is. And he's starring in a remake of the 14-year old Flesh Gordon soft porn movie. But Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders is more of a sex comedy along the lines of Porky's and The Naked Gun, said Murdocco.

The blonde, blue-eyed Burnaby man comes from a close Italian family. He admitted having early reservations about the movie when he started, but after reading the script and becoming involved in production, he's sold on it. But he wasn't the only one looking at the movie with some skepticism. Some of his friends had comments like: "Do you know Vince, you're gonna be naked?"

Most friends and family, however, are behind him because they know he wouldn't do anything disgusting. Murdocco said he also wouldn't disappoint all the young people, including his fan club, who lookup to him because of kick-boxing. He believes it will be okay for his teenage fans-"the cutest things on earth -- to see his movie. The reason he is so confident is the movie itself is "hilarious." Even on days off, Murdocco goes in to the set to watch the fun. He predicted that curiosity will also draw viewers. Murdocco said there is not a lot of nudity or sexual suggestiveness in the film. "When you come from outer space, how do you think the girls-are gonna dress?" he asks rhetorically.

Murdocco is not viewing the movie as a one-shot wonder. He's seeking out stardom. There's room for another young heartthrob, he said, one with martial arts experience.

As Flesh, Murdocco uses his skills to beat on a monster at the start of the film. In reality, he actively pursues martial arts interests and works out regularly after hours, generally going for late night runs.

For now though, the young man, who majored in languages at Langara College and speaks French and Italian, works full time at the Port of Vancouver as a shipping co-ordinator. He is on a six-week leave of absence to complete filming. His ambition once included working as a translator for the airlines or government. He said he hasn't given up on that but is going to flirt with the footlights first.

All the flashy trappings of stardom have not gone to Murdocco's handsome head. He has a natural smile and an honest, friendly manner. He promises success won't change him. Murdocco turned his back on a chance to model in Japan because he doesn't want to miss out anything happening here. He wants to appear on locally produced television shows such as 21 Jump Street. He feels young now and can afford to try all the options. He doesn't want time later for regrets.

Lisa Morry - "BURNABY NEWS" February 15, 1989